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There are almost two hundred countries (or national economies) in the world. None of them are immune to the permacrisis, as an enduring, multi-faced structural crisis, characterized by prolonged instability and insecurity across the economy, society, and nature. So, the key question is: Who owns the long term? A simple answer is: you cannot manage for the long term without a transition capable of mitigating key structural imbalances and anomalies of the economic system.

The transition from the “new normal” to a “better normal” requires the establishment of new economic rules centered around well-being as the ultimate goal, along with stakeholder value, the shift from a linear model of growth to a circular one, more intense use of industrial policies for tradable sectors, and the coordination role of the state leveraged by state impact investments and automatic macroeconomic stabilizers. The so-called “green transition” is what it takes for fostering sustainability of the economy, society, and nature in the long term. Since there is no single path to successfully manage the long term, the green transition requires solutions from different perspectives.

The Sustainability and Climate Risks section kicks off with the paper prepared by a trio of authors, D. Đuričin, V. Kuč, and I. Vuksanović Herceg, discussing the Green Transition Action Plan for Serbia. Their main conclusion suggests that, despite a relatively good strategic fit with macro trends, the green transition could serve as a key lever for rejuvenating the economy and nurturing sustainable ties with the EU. In a complementary vein, an insightful paper, authored by D. Lončar, navigates the landscape of investment opportunities in Serbia through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His exploration unveils a comprehensive SDG Investor Map for Serbia, consisting of the 13 Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) with a potential investment volume totaling $8.3 billion over the next 5 years, and offering a roadmap for investors keen on advancing sustainable initiatives.

In the first paper in the Growth and Development section, J. Tabaković sheds light on the symbiotic relationship between macroeconomic stability and the corporate sector’s performance in Serbia. Through meticulous analysis spanning a decade, she illustrates how stability serves as a catalyst for growth, fostering a conducive environment for innovation, export propensity, and expansion across diverse sectors. Particularly noteworthy is the confirmation of our economy’s vitality, evidenced by the achievement of a 5% annual growth in real operating income in the corporate sector during the period 2013-2022. In the second paper in this section, a duo of authors, S. Ranđelović and A. Đorđević, delves into the essential savings-investment-growth nexus, benchmarking Serbia’s performance against fast-growing economies as role models in this respect. The authors emphasize the critical role of both public and private investments in propelling long-term economic development, advocating for strategic measures and concerted efforts to augment domestic private investments, which are essential for sustained progress.

In the Accounting, Auditing, and Forensics section, D. Malinić and S. Vučković Milutinović tackle the intricate challenge of measuring progress towards SDGs at the global and national levels, as well as the role of corporate reporting in facilitating their achievement. Additionally, they provide an analysis of the latest scores of the main SDG indicators, including the SDG index and the Spillover Index, for Serbia and comparable economies from Southeastern Europe. The authors emphasize the necessity for cohesive reporting frameworks to facilitate effective progress tracking and accountability.

In the Marketing section, a team of authors, including N. Savić, J. Lazarević, A. Jeličić, and F. Grujić, offers a compelling examination of the transformative effects of the digital economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution, with a particular focus on the consumption patterns of Generation Z in Serbia, underpinned by a comprehensive survey. Their findings indicate the profound socio-economic shifts precipitated by the advent of the digital age, prompting critical reflections on the evolving dynamics of consumer behavior as well as capitalism itself.

In the Technology Change and Innovation section, D. Vujović explores the emerging frontier of Generative AI, analyzing its far-reaching implications across various sectors alongside the challenges posed by these groundbreaking technologies and solutions. Special emphasis is placed on the potential impact on the future labor force and concerns surrounding the possibility of AI singularity. The author underscores the critical importance of preparing labor re-skilling, upskilling, and retraining programs to address the evolving needs arising from the anticipated changes in the structure and skill set of the future workforce, particularly in sectors directly impacted by Generative AI tools and models.

Lastly, in the Tourism and Hospitality Management section, a trio of authors, G. Petković, A. Bradić-Martinović, and M. Lazić, shines a spotlight on the imperative of developing digital skills in Serbia’s tourism and hospitality sector. Their findings, drawn from an empirical analysis of primary data collected from 418 respondents, highlight the urgent need for targeted interventions to bridge existing skill gaps and fortify the sector’s resilience in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through diverse perspectives and inspiring research. We hope these insights spark meaningful discussions and inspire practical applications in your fields.